Police say they are investigating, but victim’s family is distraught, and wants answers
A family from the Buttercup area in rural Belize is struggling to cope with the death of 13-year old Earl Ismael Flores, Jr., who was struck down in a suspected hit-and-run accident that occurred around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, February, 23, 2014.
Just after having dinner with his family, Flores was reportedly riding past the Samuels Saw Mill on the Burrell Boom Road when, his family believes, he was knocked down by an unknown individual who fled the scene after the accident.
After being found a short while later by residents who alerted his parents, Flores was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he remained in a critical condition after being placed in an induced coma.
Last Wednesday, after fruitlessly searching for answers, the family turned to the media to make a desperate plea to the person who fled the scene to just come forward and speak with them.
They explained that although Flores was clinging to life at the time, they were hopeful, nonetheless, that he would have recovered from his injuries.
Today, though, their hopes were shattered when the family received the news that their loved one had died while receiving treatment at the hospital.
Rural Executive Officer, ASP Chris Noble, confirmed the death of the boy with the media this morning. He said, “We found out that the child passed away this morning. I spoke to the family today and I do believe that the information that we have been given is something actionable, and we will be looking into it to further deal with it. At this point, we are exploring the angles that are coming to us; whether he was knocked down, or fell down or was pushed down. So we are basically trying to establish the motive. The severity of his injuries is what may have caused his death, but the post-mortem results will confirm that.”
Noble stated that they are currently seeking a suspect based on information that the police received from an eyewitness.
That, however, is no consolation to Flores’ family, who claimed that they haven’t been satisfied with the progress of the investigations being carried out by police.
They spoke with the media outside the Ladyville Police Station, and were obviously tormented by the loss of young Flores, who died sometime after midnight last night.
Kyla Myvette, a cousin of Flores, stressed that investigators have indicated that they are trying to determine whether Flores was actually knocked down or fell off his bike, but added that the injuries that he received were not consistent with those that would have been sustained by someone who had simply fallen off a bike.
“Nobody who fell off a bike would have disfigured their entire face – he had teeth missing and his brain was swollen, so my family and I are not coming off this case until we are satisfied [with] the outcome of the investigations because someone hit my cousin”, Myvette tearfully said.
His mother, Octavia Locario, told us that the family is completely devastated by the turn of events, and is at a loss for words as to how to describe what they are going through, especially since he was one of only two children she had.
She mentioned that the last time she saw her son was Sunday afternoon, when he told her that he was going over to his aunt’s house after eating his food.
Earl’s father, Earl Flores, Sr., made an appeal for the police to find the culprit who allegedly knocked down the child. He said, “I would wish that the police find the guy that did that to my son. I believe that they know who did it, but they are just dragging their feet like they do not know. I have received information about who did it, and I know the police have the same information, so I expect them to do their job. I think something is very wrong, and it is maybe because it is someone who is closely related to them, but we won’t give up on my son.”
Earl Flores, Jr. was a Standard 4 student at the Burrell Boom Methodist School. He is survived by one sister, Aaliyah Flores, and a host of other relatives and friends who will miss him dearly.